|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 189-190
Hemoglobin status of children in the age group 0-14 years
Rajkumari Rupabati Devi, Ksh. Chourjit Singh
Department of Pediatrics, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India
|Date of Web Publication||28-Sep-2016|
Rajkumari Rupabati Devi
Thangmeiband Lilasingkhongnangkhong Imphal West, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Devi RR, Singh K. Hemoglobin status of children in the age group 0-14 years. J Med Soc 2016;30:189-90
Hemoglobin is responsible for the constant supply of oxygen to the cells of all tissues in the body. Ninety percent of the dry weight of a mature red cell is formed by hemoglobin. Anemia is defined as a reduction of hemoglobin concentration below the range of values occurring in healthy persons.  An infant with anemia is at the risk of developing permanent impairment regarding their mental and motor functions. The World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for anemia in children indicate anemia in children as the hemoglobin level <11 g/dl in children below 6 years of age and hemoglobin <12 g/dl in children above 6 years old.  In this study, hemoglobin level below 11.5 g/dl was considered anemic as there is an increase of hemoglobin in older children following compensatory physiological adjustment.
Routine screening of anemia by the hemoglobin estimation helps in preventing the development of severe anemia and early management of anemia associated diseases in children. The color measurement technique for hemoglobin estimation is recommended by the WHO in low-source settings.  Keeping this in view, we aimed to analyzed the hemoglobin status among the children of 0-14 years age group who are attending Pediatric Outpatient Department over a period of 1 year from August 2012 to August 2013. A total of 500 children were enrolled in the study after getting clearance from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Written informed consent was obtained from the willing parents and finger prick blood sampling from each subject was done. Hemoglobin (g/dl) was estimated by acid hematin (Sahlis) method using the hemoglobinometer. Data collected were entered in the computer, and statistical analysis was done. Based on the hemoglobin level, the magnitude of anemia were categorized into mild (10 to <11.5 g/dl), moderate (7 to <10 g/dl), and severe (<7 g/dl) anemia. The anemic children were given appropriate measures and treatment. Of 500 children included in the study, male were 268 (53.6%) and female were 232 (46.4%) with a ratio of 1.1:1. The highest hemoglobin estimated was 14.8 g/dl and lowest was 5.2 g/dl with mean hemoglobin of 10.5 ± 1.21 g/dl. The majority of the children belonged to the age group 1-5 years (41.6%). Among the study group, 90.2% children were found to be anemic. Mild anemia was present in 64.6% of children, and only 2.6% were severely anemic. [Table 1] shows the various grades of anemia in relation to age and sex among the study population. Children under 5 years of age group had a significantly lower hemoglobin level as compared to older children (P = 0.000). Mild anemia was common in both the male and female children; the reason could be due to worm infestation and inadequate supply of iron rich food in the diet of a growing child. In a study by Mills and Meadows, they found that anemia detection using hemoglobinometer has 85% sensitivity with 94% specificity and recommended as an acceptable tool for the screening of anemia where the prevalence is more than 20%.  This study does not include the assessment of nutritional status among enrolled children. Higher prevalence of anemia among male children (47.8%) than female children (42.4%) demands further studies to find out the associated risk factors causing anemia. Although anemia-related symptoms are not present, evaluation of hemoglobin status among children in a community base approach is recommended, and appropriate measures should be taken up to prevent anemia and its associated diseases.
The authors would like to thank Mrs. Thiyam Ranjana Devi, laboratory technician, Department of Pediatrics for her critical inputs in providing technical support for this study.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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